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Use these credit cards to earn cash back at department stores

Summary

Check out our top picks for credit cards that offer cash back on department store purchases.

The content on this page is accurate as of the posting date; however, some of our partner offers may have expired. Please review our list of best credit cards, or use our CardMatch™ tool to find cards matched to your needs.

If a large amount of your money goes toward clothing, shoes, cosmetics, appliances and other household items, you can most likely benefit from a credit card that offers rewards at department stores. Plus, with holiday shopping around the corner, you can take advantage of a department store bonus to save on gifts.

While department store bonuses on rewards cards have been increasingly rare, there are still plenty of great cards to choose from. Read on to learn about our favorites and who they are best for.

See related:  Holiday shopping and credit card guide 2019

Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express

Why it’s a good choice: Along with bonus cash back at U.S. supermarkets and U.S. gas stations, the Blue Cash Everyday card offers 2 percent cash back at select U.S. department stores. This makes it particularly valuable for families who do a significant amount of grocery shopping and driving around – in addition to their holiday shopping.

Because we estimate that the average consumer spends $15,900 each year on food, gas, clothing and general purchases – you have the potential to earn approximately $410 in cash back during the first year of card membership.

Drawbacks: While the 2 percent bonus includes a variety major department stores, it does not include all department stores. Also, the bonus can only be earned on department stores located in the U.S.

See the full list of eligible stores here.

Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express

Rewards rate:

  • 3% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (up to $6,000 per year, then 1%)
  • 2% cash back at U.S. gas stations and select U.S. department stores
  • 1% cash back general purchases
  • Terms apply

Introductory bonus:

  • $150 if you spend $1,000 in first 3 months
  • Terms apply

Annual fee: $0

Estimated yearly rewards value ($15,900 spend): $310

Chase Freedom®

Why it’s a good choice: Chase Freedom cardholders can earn 5 percent cash back on categories that rotate quarterly on up to $1,500 in combined purchases. All other purchases earn 1 percent cash back. In the past, bonus categories have included Apple Pay, Lyft, internet and more.

For the fourth quarter of 2019, categories include department stores, in addition to Chase Pay and PayPal purchases. Just note that to earn the bonus, cardholders much activate the category every quarter.

Drawbacks: Unlike Discover, which unveils its entire cash back calendar in advance every year, Chase releases its bonus categories on a quarter by quarter basis. So, while it the card is offering generous cash back at department stores this quarter, it is impossible to know if the categories will still align with your spending come 2020.

Chase Freedom®

Rewards rate:

  • 5% cash back on rotating bonus categories that you must activate each quarter (up to $1,500 per quarter)
  • 1% cash back on all other purchases

Sign-up bonus:

  • $150 if you spend $500 in first 3 months

Annual fee: $0

Estimated yearly rewards value ($15,900 spend): $304

Citi® Double Cash Card

Why it’s a good choice: The Citi Double Cash Card gives cardholders 1 percent cash back on every purchase plus an additional 1 percent cash back when they pay for their purchases – for a total of 2 percent cash back on every purchase. Additionally, because there are no earning caps or restrictions, there is no limit on how much cash back you can earn.

The average consumer who spends $15,900 and pays their bill on time can earn $318 cash back each year.

Drawbacks: While there are no rewards earning caps and no limit on how much cash back you can earn, your rewards will expire if you don’t earn any cash back for 12 months.

Citi® Double Cash Card

Rewards rate: 

  • 1% cash back on general purchases
  • 1% additional cash back when you pay for your purchases

Sign-up bonus: None

Annual fee: $0

Estimated yearly rewards value ($15,900 spend): $318

How about a retail credit card instead?

If you frequently shop at one particular store, such as Macy’s or Kohl’s, a retail credit card may be a better option for you. Along with offering special store discounts, retail cards offer rewards on purchases made at the store. Some retail cards also offer bonus rewards on everyday spend categories, such as gas and dining.

For example, the Kohl’s Charge card offers a 35 percent on you first purchase after you are approved, in addition to other special offers throughout the year. The Macy’s American Express card, on the other hand, offers 3 points per dollar at restaurants, 2 points per dollar at gas stations and supermarkets and 1 point per dollar on everything else. Cardholders can also link their card to Plenti rewards to earn and use points at other retailers, such as AT&T, Exxon, Mobil, Chili’s, Rite Aid and more.

Keep in mind, though, that while retail credit cards usually don’t charge annual fees, they typically come with very high interest rates. So if you plan to use one, you should also plan to pay off your balance in full each month.

Editorial Disclaimer

The editorial content on this page is based solely on the objective assessment of our writers and is not driven by advertising dollars. It has not been provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. However, we may receive compensation when you click on links to products from our partners.

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Credit Card Rate Report Updated: July 8th, 2020
Business
13.91%
Airline
15.48%
Cash Back
16.09%
Reward
15.82%
Student
16.12%

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